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22 April 2024

Hasher Al Maktoum honours cricket connoisseur Shyam Bhatia with the ‘Sports Imprint Award’

By E247

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hasher bin Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Media Incorporated, presented the fifth ‘Sports Imprint Award’ to Shyam Bhatia, an Indian businessman and cricket connoisseur based in Dubai.

The 'Sports Imprint Award’, a joint initiative between the Dubai Sports Council and Watani Al Emarat Foundation, is an annual event held under the framework of Watani Al Emarat Humanitarian Work Award. It acknowledges individuals and organisations that contribute to spreading positive values in society through their humanitarian initiatives in the sports sector.

The Dubai Sports Council said that the 'Sports Imprint Award' reflects the UAE's commitment to acknowledging efforts that enhance the country’s sports sector. The Award serves as a heartfelt appreciation for Shyam Bhatia's significant contributions to the sports industry, notably highlighted by his establishment of the world's largest cricket museum in Dubai, the Council said.

Bhatia's curated museum showcases an extraordinary collection of rare and significant memorabilia from international cricket, providing visitors with an immersive journey through the sport's history.

Bhatia's commitment and philanthropic efforts in the sports field also extend to organising an annual awards ceremony in the UAE, aimed at acknowledging and nurturing excellence in cricket. This initiative celebrates the accomplishments of both top male and female cricketers, as well as match officials, by presenting them with both cash prizes and commemorative awards. During this ceremony, annual prizes and scholarships are bestowed upon the winners by esteemed cricket legends.

Moreover, the Shyam Bhatia Foundation has also honoured select top international players through the establishment of the 'Cricket for Care' charitable foundation. This foundation ensures deserving cricketers receive guaranteed support and care, furthering their development in the sport.

Driven by his deep passion for the sport, Bhatia dedicated numerous years to gathering cricket memorabilia and rare artifacts from the annals of international cricket history. This led him to establish the museum in Dubai's Jumeirah area, which is now widely recognised as the largest and most significant venue on the global stage for cricket enthusiasts and historians alike.

Since its opening on 18 April, 2010, the museum has been home to a remarkable collection of cricket's most treasured memorabilia. It has become a magnet for enthusiasts worldwide, attracting avid fans keen to glimpse the rare artifacts associated with the sport's iconic figures.

The museum displays a wide range of items, such as hundreds of bags, balls, and bats adorned with signatures and gifts from some of the biggest stars in cricket history, spanning both past and present eras. It also hosts a specialised cricket library containing rare books, many of which are over a century old. Notably, among its collection is the heaviest book in the world, weighing 25 kgs.

Fifth Edition of the Award

This is the fifth time that the ‘Sports Imprint Award’ has been bestowed as part of the Watani Al Emarat Humanitarian Work Award. It was first introduced to the annual ceremony during the 17th edition of the Award. The ‘Sports Imprint Award’ aims to spread a culture of humanitarian work and encourage the spirit of giving back to society through sports. It also seeks to promote voluntary social work within the community.

Every year, sports organisations, various institutions, and individuals in the sports sector are encouraged to submit their nominations for the Award, aligning with competition's core theme of ‘Responsibility for Humanitarian Work in the Sports Sector’. This theme underscores the importance of community initiatives that successfully meet humanitarian and societal goals in the sports field.

The Dubai Sports Council encouraged athletes, sports enthusiasts, and businessmen to embrace the ethos of giving back to the country, society, and the sports community. The collaboration between the Dubai Sports Council and Watani Al Emarat Foundation will continue to promote the culture of humanitarianism and foster a spirit of philanthropy within society through sports.

'Sports Imprint Award' Over the Years

The inaugural edition of the 'Sports Imprint Award' was clinched by the Landmark Group, in recognition of its contributions to promoting sports and physical activity across all segments of society. Renowned for its unwavering support of social health initiatives, the Landmark Group annually organises a walking march for diabetes awareness.

Real estate developer Nakheel won the second edition of the Award. Nakheel has consistently been in the spotlight due to its various ongoing initiatives aimed at promoting a balanced lifestyle for communities. These initiatives include providing modern sports facilities such as dedicated cycling and running tracks, sports fields, and gardens.

The Al Khayyat Investment Group claimed victory in the third edition of the Award for its initiatives aimed at promoting the practice of sports within society and providing modern equipment and devices to facilitate this goal.

In the fourth edition, the Award was bestowed upon international French footballer Mamadou Sakho, a former player for top clubs such as Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the French national football team. Sakho received the Award in acknowledgment of his efforts through the 'Amsak' charitable initiative, which was established to support the needy and construct stadiums across the African continent.